Reputation protection, defamation and disputes
Your organisation’s brand and its reputation are valuable assets, but they are also vulnerable to attack from many different sources, like competitors, the media, disgruntled employees, dissatisfied customers and protestors. And in the age of the internet and social media, it’s all too simple for someone to go online and cause immeasurable commercial and reputational damage.
When something potentially damaging is said about your business, or you find yourself accused of defamation, it can be hard to be objective. That is why it is vital to obtain legal advice on the nature and strength of the case, before taking further action.
Clarke Willmott has a team of experienced defamation and reputation management solicitors who understand that these issues are often business critical. They will always advise you promptly on the best course of action and the most appropriate remedial action to protect your business and reputation.
What is defamation?
Defamation is any spoken or written statement deemed harmful to the reputation of a business, which is then proved to be false. Written defamation is referred to as ‘libel’, spoken defamation as ‘slander’. The difference between the two is important because libel and slander have different requirements as to what a claimant must prove. Additionally one may be able to sue for “Malicious Falsehood”; generally when we refer to defamation we include malicious falsehood.
Defamation law is designed to protect and compensate individuals and business from having their character and reputation improperly damaged by untrue defamatory statements.
A defamation claim will only be successful if the information published, broadcast or spoken is about the characteristics of a person, business or product and is proven to be:
- Untrue in some respect
- Reported in an intentionally misleading way
- Damaging to the image of that person or business. A statement made which ‘tends to lower him or her in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally’.
Suing for defamation
If you believe that false or defamatory comments have damaged your business reputation, causing a financial loss or loss of future revenue, you may want to claim for compensation. You can also seek an injunction to prevent further publication of the defamatory comments.
Defending a defamation claim
There are defences to defamation actions, beyond simple assertions that the publication in question is justified (true) or that it is honest comment. For example, qualified privilege and reasonable reportage are technical defences – which may also be challenged on technical grounds.
Why choose Clarke Willmott for reputation management
Our experienced team of defamation solicitors are skilled in advising claimants on how best to protect their reputations. For example, the steps to take before publication (whether to comment or not to comment when invited to do so), how to prevent or to influence the publication of an offending document and what action to take (if any) post publication.
Contact a defamation solicitor today
Our specialist defamation solicitors based in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton, are ready to discuss your case. Call a member of our team on 0800 652 8025 or get in touch online.